Rodrigo Valenzuela builds narratives, scenes, and stories addressing the tensions between humans and communities. Drawing from personal memories from his native Chile and archival research on labor histories across the Americas, Valenzuela’s work tackles on issues of alienation and displacement through complex photographic installations and videos. Often picturing landscapes and tableaus with day laborers or himself, Valenzuela explores the ways in which an image is inhabited, as well as the ways in which spaces, objects, and humans are translated into images. Over the course of his career, he has been creating a body of work that create contact zones between the subjectivity and political contingency at both the local and the global levels. His talk at LUAG explores some of these contact zones through different projects created in the last decade.

Rodrigo delivered this talk on September 28, 2022 as part of the Latin American Art class taught during the Fall 22 semester at Lehigh by AAD Prof. Florencia San Martín.

Rodrigo Valenzuela was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1982, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, where he is the Associate Professor and Head of the Photography Department at University of California, Los Angeles. A 2021 Guggenheim Fellow, Valenzuela’s work has been supported by the Smithsonian Institution; Joan Mitchell Foundation; Art Matters Foundation grant; and Artist trust Innovators Award. He has had solo exhibitions at the New Museum in NYC; the Lisa Kandlhofer Galerie in Vienna; the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Oregon; the Orange County Museum in CA; the Portland Art Museum; and Frye Art Museum in Seattle. Recent residencies include Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; MacDowell Colony; Bemis Center for contemporary arts; Lightwork; and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. He is currently exhibiting the show Rodrigo Valenzuela: New Works for a Post Worker’s World at BRIC Arts in Brooklyn, NY.


Art in Dialogue is a series of interdisciplinary conversations between members of the university and the wider community - reflecting the ways in which their work is dynamically engaged with other fields of inquiry.

Image: Rodrigo Valenzuela. Barricade No. 1, 2017. General Song, Edition 1 of 3. Archival pigment print mounted on Sintra. 55.5 x 45.25 x 2.25 i.